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Lexington, KY Coming Into Its Own

Veterans Park in Lexington has its share of legacy. The legacy of the veterans to which the park is dedicated. The 300-year-old mighty oak tree that has awed countless visitors. And maybe one day the legacy of being the first of many great in-town mountain bike trails in the city.  The project is the result of years of planning and coordination, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) partnering with Kentucky Mountain Bike Association (KyMBA) Bluegrass Chapter to make this long time vision a reality.

After some hiccups, LFUCG is ready to award the contract to have approximately four miles of singletrack trail, ranging from beginner to advanced level, built at Veterans Park. KyMBA, for its part, designed and flagged the trail and will provide the volunteers to clear the corridor for the machine builders to follow and will then come in afterward to do the hand finishing.

Bluegrass KyMBA has a solid grasp on sustainable (and fun) trail design, having put in a great deal of work at nearby trail systems in Georgetown and Frankfort. It’s time though, that the good folks of Lexington had some trail in their own back yards. Those other two favorite spots are each a 30-40 minute drive away. We’re big fans of close-to-home trails that make it easy to hop on your bike after work and that introduce new riders to our great sport.

In addition to our staple Saturday Trailbuilding School, we did a land manager training session which was very well attended by staff from LFUCG Parks and Recreation Department, along with folks from the National Forest Service, Kentucky State Parks, Eastern Kentucky University, City of Somerset, and the Equine Land Conservation Resource. It was great to see LFUCG so supportive and invested in putting trails in at Veterans Park. They realize the value such a resource brings to a community. We even had a couple of staff members, Mark Morgan and Chris Cooperrider, show up for our work project, digging in the dirt alongside KyMBA folks and other community members.

Soon, there will be a mountain biking trail in Lexington. It will draw families, kids, folks just getting used to riding off-road, and shredders looking for a good ride close to home. Maybe a few disc golfers will get on their bikes too. That giant 300-year-old oak tree will soon have a few more stories to tell.

 

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Equine and multi-use trails

As the education coordinator at Equine Land Conservation Resource, I was very pleased with and greatly enjoyed the land manager training session. This is information that is important for horse riders to know, including how trails should be built to be sustainable, and how trail designs relate to specific users, and what trail use practices are necessary for sustainability and safety. Hikers, bikers and horse riders can and should share trails in a cooperative and friendly manner, so it's important for all users to understand the needs of other users.

An excellent manual on the design of horse trails is the Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads and Campgrounds, published by USDA (Forest Service) in cooperation with USDOT. You will see the similarities and differences between trails for horses and trails for mountain biking (straightline), and how trails for these two uses might converge and diverge to enhance the trail experience for each.

Please visit us at www.elcr.org for information about horse land conservation, horse trails and trail use.

Denise O'Meara
Equine Land Conservatin Resource

Thank you for taking the time

Thank you for taking the time to particiapate in the session Denise! And thank you for including the info about the Equestrian Deisgn Guide....I'm sure we'll find this extremely useful.

Appreciate your time and energy!

I enjoyed the class, the training, and the sheer energy you guys have for the sport. It was a privilege attending and working alongside you guys. I hope some time in the future you guys will have a chance to ride the trail at Veterans Park. Walter Francis

Thanks Walter. It was great

Thanks Walter. It was great meeting you as well and we are looking forward to riding Veterans Park in the near future!

Jake and Jenny you guys rock!

Jake and Jenny you guys rock! Thanks for all you did. Your welcome to come back anytime for a casual group ride or just to stop in to see whats up. Your friends, Chris and Melissa Lockard

Thanks so much Crhis and

Thanks so much Crhis and Melissa! We really appreciate all that you did to prepare for our visit and help make it such a success. Would love to come back through and see how things are going, and devour another one of those garlic butter soaked steaks!

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